An assault charge covers threats and physical touching: any use of force that is applied to another person without that person’s consent. The touch could be as major as a cut with a knife and as minor as a quick shove.
Every assault charge is serious and is treated as a violent crime, even if the alleged victim wasn’t hurt. These charges come with serious penalties.
Our team has extensive experience handling these sorts of charges. Our team is here to help.
Types of Assault Charges
There are three types of assault charges.
The first type of assault is called common assault. A common assault is any use of force applied to another person without their consent that does not result in serious injury. Common assault is the charge you can expect if you’re being accused of threatening another person. It can also cover slapping, pushing, or hair pulling.
The second type is assault with a weapon, or assault causing bodily harm.
This second charge carries much stiffer penalties. If you use a weapon at all you’ll be charged with this type of assault, even if the alleged victim was not hurt. If the alleged victim did suffer some form of bodily harm then you will be charged with that crime as well.
What counts as bodily harm? Any harm that causes the alleged victim to require medical attention. Even a “minor” black eye, split lip, or bloody nose can count.
Finally, there’s aggravated assault, the most serious charge.
Aggravated assault means that the alleged victim has been wounded, maimed, or disfigured, or is harmed to the point where their lives are in danger. If you put your victim in the hospital there is an excellent chance you will be charged with aggravated assault.
Penalties for Assault
In Regina, if you’re convicted of assault you can be imprisoned for up to 5 years, or be charged with up to $5,000 in fines.
Being convicted of assault also comes with lifelong consequences. An assault charge can mean struggling to find employment or housing after your jail time is served. It may mean losing your family or community reputation. You may be barred from traveling to the United States.
In short, most people who are charged with assault cannot afford to face those charges without working closely with a criminal defence lawyer.
Several factors can enhance an assault charge. Your sentence will be harsher if the crime can be classified as domestic assault.
Your sentence will also be harsher if the weapon used was a firearm of any kind. This situation can leave you open to firearms charges. These charges can add up to fourteen years to your sentences, depending on the type of firearm and how it was used in the assault.
Finally, your sentence will be harsher if you have prior convictions for any crime.
Threats to cause death or bodily harm to any person, to damage or destroy the personal property of any person, or to harm the animals of any person all count as assault. These are all treated as a use of force for the purposes of the law, even if you do not follow up with any physical action.
There are several defences we can use in an assault case.
If the allegation is that you issued threats to another person, then the defence is typically that you never intended for your words to be taken as a threat, or taken seriously.
We might be able to show that you were clearly joking, or that a reasonable person would never have believed that the words were meant to be taken as a threat.
Consent is one defence when physical contact was involved. In Saskatchewan two people who are equals can invite each other to step outside and have a fist fight without penalty, as long as they don’t cause bodily harm. You can play rough sports without penalty as well.
Consent is complicated, however. Consent does not exist in cases where the other party cannot meaningfully consent to the use of force. Serious power imbalances between the two parties undermines consent. A person cannot be said to have given consent if they were in any way intimidated or defrauded into consenting to the use of force.
Consent is not available in situations where bodily harm was caused. The law says you cannot consent to bodily harm. There are several cases where a fist fight escalated to the point where bodily harm was caused, and in those cases the perpetrators were charged with assault.
Self-defence is another common defence for assault. In Saskatchewan you absolutely do have the right to defend yourself or another from a non-consensual use of force.
Self-defence is also complicated. The use of force must be proportional to the threat. In addition, you must prove that the other party acted first, which isn’t always an easy or straightforward process. Your lawyer will need to help you with this.
Why Choose Us?
Our team has decades of experience helping Regina, SK residents defend against assault charges.
We’re committed to your case. We dig deep to find every angle we can use on your behalf.
We’re also responsive and empathetic. We’ll keep you in the loop and will take the time to explain your options throughout the life of your case. We’ll come to you with strategies and options.
Ideally your case will never get to court: we’ll get the charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced, first. If your case goes to trial, we’re fully prepared to fight on your behalf. We have a track record of achieving acquittals for our clients as well.
We’re also more affordable than you think, especially when you weigh the cost of our services against the long-term consequences of an assault conviction.